The Matty O Show Week 17 Review: Patriots 38 Dolphins 7

I continue to step in for Matty O as he looks to get his computer repaired.  This is the MattyO Show Review, Scottie style.

New England Patriots 38   Miami Dolphins 7

Bill Belichick played it safe, learning his lesson from last year, having Wes Welker, Deon Branch, and Aaron Hernandez all inactive.  Tom Brady and BenJarvus Green Ellis both played about a half.  Even without the core players, the Patriots annihilated the Miami Dolphins by 35.

Tom Brady threw for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis got to the 1,000 yard mark on the season, the first Patriot to do so since Corey Dillon in 2004.  He had 20 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown.  Watching Green-Ellis gets better and better every week.  He is the polar opposite of a man named Maroney that once danced around (and thats about all he did) the backfield for the Patriots.  BJGE is always going forward and is the definition of a down hill runner. Rob Gronkowski was a beast today catching 6 balls for 102 yards and a touchdown.  I believe he deserves offensive rookie of the year consideration.

Miami simply couldn’t move the ball today as they had less than 300 yards total offense.  I am unsure if that is a reflection of how bad the Dolphins offense is, or how stout the Patriot defense was.  Several times, the Patriots ran unblocked into the backfield getting to either Chad Henne or Tyler Thigpen.  It should come as no surprise that the Dolphins lone score came at the expense of Darius Butler.  He was flagged for a pass interference and then on the next play Davone Bess caught a ball over Butler.

Brandon Tate finally showed some potential on a great route he ran in which Brian Hoyer found him in the end zone for a diving touchdown catch.  He had another play that was a catch and run for 40 yards.  Although it went for big yardage, it was more due to Miami’s inept tackling that anything Tate actually did.  Taylor Price and Hoyer showed a nice rapport on a few slant plays.

Julian Edelman had a huge day with a 94 yard punt return for a touchdown.  He also had 3 catches for 72 yards.  His success today had me thinking, “is it the hair?” The Patriot offense in general was running on all cylinders today with 321 passing yards and 181 rushing yards.  They have a ton of momentum going into the playoffs and look to be the odds on favorite to win the Super Bowl.

The Patriots return to the gridiron in 2 weeks, opponent unknown.

I can be followed on Twitter at Scottientcf.

 

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Mumbles: Blizzard Edition

After shoveling for nearly two and a half hours, I feel the need to rant.  It is usually ideal therapy for me so I figured there is nothing better than to sit down at my computer and just let it have it.

* First and foremost, all you people out there who love snow and are the outdoorsy type were either dropped on your heads as children or should make an appointment to get your head examined, pronto.

*Yesterday, the Patriots took care of business by dismantling the Bills giving them home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  While this is an obvious advantage for the Pats, let us not lose sight of the fact that the Pats just last season were blown out on Foxboro turf by the Ravens 33-14 in the first round of the playoffs.  The Patriots could play host to any number of teams as the AFC playoff picture hasn’t quite come into focus yet.  To be honest there isn’t a clear cut team that I am “comfortable” with the Pats facing after their first round bye as each team poses it’s own set of problems.

*Going into this season I was hoping the Patriots would use the Raiders pick to scoop up Alabama’s Mark Ingram.  Now with one week to go in the regular season, that is no longer the case.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been incredible for the Pats this year.  He has carried the ball 209 times this year for 928 yards and 12 touchdowns, without a fumble.  In fact during his 3 years in the league spanning 309 carries he is yet to fumble.  (Lord, I hope I don’t jinx the man).  He has also been great in the back field in picking up blitzes to protect Brady.  He along with Danny Woodhead have been a very pleasant surprise this season.  What’s even better is they are both young and can share backfield duties for years to come.  Their success has enabled the Patriots to concentrate on other areas come draft time.

*I am really hoping that the Celtics aren’t about to partake in their annual swoon after Christmas.  Last season the Celtics were 23-5 going into Christmas day, eerily similar to this season.  Last season they played the Lakers and lost, much like they did with the Magic this season.  Last season, after Christmas the Celtics played less than .500 ball and got a 5 seed in the playoffs.  I am hoping the Celtics can maintain the dominance they have showed this season because I feel home court advantage will be important to them come April as evidenced by their 13-1 home record, best in the NBA.

*Many fans are wondering if the Celtics will make their usual trade deadline move as they have the past 3 years (PJ Brown, Mikki Moore, Nate Robinson).  Such a move will be unnecessary as they will actually be getting healthy around that time.  Expect Kendrick Perkins, Delonte West, Jermaine O’ Neal and Rajon Rondo to all be fully healthy come mid- February.  I have long said this is the deepest team I can remember in the NBA.  For that very reason I think they are the best team in the NBA.

*There has been a lot of discussion as to what the Boston Red Sox batting order will be come 2011.  Some writers (Gordon Edes) actually think that Dustin Pedroia will bat 5th or 6th.  Now what bothers me is that he is a so called expert and gets paid to offer his opinion on such matters.  But how can one man who has his amount of access to the club even think this?  Why would anyone bat the league leader in runs scored when healthy (2008-118 runs 2009-115 runs) deep in the lineup and not have him set the table for the big boppers?  His logic escapes me and if anyone can help me understand what he is thinking it will be greatly appreciated.

*In regard to the Sox lineup, here is something that hasn’t really been brought up.  Why not bad Carl Crawford ahead of David Ortiz? If Crawford was to bat in the 5 hole and Ortiz 6, there would be no more Ortiz shift.  A walk to Crawford would soon turn into a triple if teams were to employ the dreaded shift.  With the shift out of play, Ortiz is looking at 15 to 20 more hits this season.  At the same time I see the flaw in having back to back lefties in the lineup,  but I think it is more valuable to get rid of that shift as many times as possible.

*Last week I wanted Claude Julien fired and was calling for Santa to give him a shake weight to occupy his time.  Don’t get me wrong I still want him canned.  But how cool was it to see Shawn Thornton drop the gloves 2 seconds into the game against the Thrashers last Thursday night? I was calling for some kind of spark that would show me the Bruins did have heart.  Thornton produced that and then found the twine twice in a 4-1 win over the second best goalie in the NHL, in Ondrej Pavelec.  Hopefully Bruins fans will look back to December 23 as the turning point in the season, that got the boys in black and gold going.

*Speaking of the Bruins, I appreciate Marc Savard’s effort in trying to drop the gloves toward the end of the Atlanta game.  But what the hell was he thinking?  This is a man who was knocked out for an extended amount of time last season after a cheap shot by Matt Cooke.  Then missed the first few months of this season with post concussion syndrome.  I never want to see one of my guys turtle but that was an exception.  I understand he didn’t want to be the only one on the ice not dropping his gloves, but he has to realize common sense.  Don’t put yourself at obvious risk of furthering your injury!

I can now be followed on Twitter @ ScottieNtcf.

Week 12 – The Mattyoshow Review

In this segment I will provide a weekly review for the previous weekend’s Patriots game, as well as my prediction for next weekend’s game.

-The New England Patriots got off to a slow start in Thursday Thanksgiving Day battle in Detroit, finding themselves in a 17-10 hole going into halftime.  But, a reestablished focus combined with a fiery halftime speech from Tom Brady amounted to a 35 point second half and a blowout of the Detroit Lions.  Much has been made this season of the Patriots young defense not being able to stop the bleeding when teams began piling on points.  Well, on Thursday their defense did just that.  After allowing 17 first half points, the defense tightened up, essentially shutting down Calvin Johnson, and subsequently allowing only 7 Detroit points in the second half.

-It seems that in every edition of the Mattyoshow Review, I can not mention the defense without bringing up two names, Jerod Mayo and Devin McCourty.  Jerod Mayo had yet another game where his effectiveness can not be measured in terms of stats.  Although he posted a good stat line (8 tackles, 4 assists), Mayo was seemingly in on nearly every play.  Detroit’s run game was surprisingly effective early in the game, but once the defensive line settled down and started plugging holes, Mayo began to shine.  He stuffed a few runs at the line of scrimmage, and then when the Lions began to abandon the run game, Mayo made nearly every play on the underneath passing routes that the Lions ran.  Countless times Mayo and teammates would crush Nate Burleson and Brandon Pettigrew on catches that they made over the middle.  That’s what is needed and expected from a middle linebacker, and Jerod Mayo continues to deliver.  This guy deserves serious consideration for defensive MVP.  As far as I know, Devin McCourty has missed only one defensive snap the entire season.  It is for a good reason because McCourty is one heck of a football player.  As the season progresses and McCourty becomes more comfortable in the Patriots’ defensive scheme, his personal statistics are beginning to pile up.  McCourty recorded two interceptions against the Lions, which gives him 5 interceptions in his last six games.  The more I am afforded the opportunity to watch McCourty play, the more I see a shutdown corner in the making.  This kid is a special football player, and defensive rookie of the year might be one of many awards McCourty will win in his career.

-Prior to Thursday’s game, Tom Brady had thrown for over 300 yards only one time this season (week 10 @ Pittsburgh).  But, on Thursday Brady looked like the 2007 version of himself as he surgically picked apart the Lions defense en route to a 21 of 27 effort for 341 yards and 4 touchdowns, not to mention compiling a perfect passer rating.  Brady did a great job spreading the ball around, completing passes to seven different receivers.  What may have been more impressive than that was his reliance on his two top receivers, Deion Branch (3 catches, 113 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Wes Welker (8 catches, 90 yards, 2 touchdowns).  There has yet to be a game that both Branch and Welker had very good numbers, but Thursday proved to be the day.  Brandon Tate dropped a couple of key passes, which hurt the success of some drives, but Branch and Welker stepped up to pick up the slack.  Hopefully, their joint production will continue throughout the remainder of the season.

-Fred Taylor was active for Thursday’s game, but didn’t see any time on the field.  Thankfully, the Patriots didn’t need him.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis capitalized on the few carries that he got (12 carries, 59 yards, two touchdowns), finding his way into the end-zone twice.  I was wary of how much work BJGE would get with Taylor returning, and in the first half he very rarely saw the football (mainly because the Pats were forced to pass as they were down), but in the second half when he was called upon to ice the game and punch the ball into the end-zone, Green-Ellis delivered.  Looking ahead, a backfield consisting of BJGE, Danny Woodhead, Fred Taylor, and the occasional Sammy Morris sighting could be very effective complimenting Tom Brady and the passing attack.

NEXT WEEK’S PREDICTION: Patriots 20 – Jets 10

Week 10 – The Mattyoshow Review

In this segment I will provide a weekly review for the previous weekend’s Patriots game, as well as my prediction for next weekend’s game.

-As I mentioned in the “What to Look For…” segment, this game was going to serve as a barometer to measure how realistic each team’s Super Bowl aspirations are.  The Patriots proved to the masses what most of us around New England already knew, they are one of the best teams in the NFL.  Even while atop the league in terms of the best record just two weeks ago (at 6-1) there were doubts surrounding the Pats.  Whether it was their anemic offense (which I’m still not convinced by) or the youth of their defense, people were doubting the supremacy of the New England Patriots.  But, after a marquee win on Sunday in Pittsburgh against one of the league’s best teams, the Patriots are not being recognized amongst the best in the NFL, and rightfully so.

-Against a Steelers defense that was allowing a stingy 58.2 yards per game on the ground, the Patriots’ rushing attack racked up a total of 103 yards on the ground, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis leading the way.  BJGE amassed 87 yards on 18 carries, which accounted for an impressive 4.8 yards per carry.  I was sure that the Steelers would stifle the Pats rushing attack, forcing Tom Brady into throwing the ball 50+ times.  Brady attempted 43 passes, which essentially accounted for the majority of the Patriots points, but Green-Ellis was the workhorse that brought the game home.  I continue to question the running back rotation deployed by coach Belichick, where BJGE gets 20 carries one game and 9 the next, but if its purpose is to keep all of the running back fresh down the stretch, then it looks like it is working.

-I would like to be one of the first people to officially welcome Wes Welker back to the New England Patriots.  After a 5 game hiatus, Welker has returned to his old self, reeling in 8 passes for 89 yards.  Granted, the Steelers’ secondary isn’t one of the better units in the league, but Welker had been an exceptionally minimal part of the offense ever since the departure of Randy Moss, so it was good to see him inserted back into a starring role.  Now, if we could only get Hernandez, Welker, Branch, and Tate rolling all on the same day this offense would be unbelievable.

-That being said, I’m still concerned over the same one thing.  Yes, Brandon Tate caught a 45 yard pass.  Yes, Tom Brady threw for 350 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Yes, the Patriots scored the most points against the Steelers in Heinz Field history.  Call me a pessimist, but Brandon Tate needs to involve into a better receiver than he is.  He missed all of 2009 with a knee injury, so he is essentially a rookie.  But this is our deep threat.  Brandon Tate is our Mike Wallace.  Not expected to be the number one guy (see Hines Ward in Pittsburgh and Welker in New England), but expected to be a sparkplug for the offense.  I understand that the Patriots have a ton of weapons and have the ability to use them all.  I don’t care if I come off like a crazy Pats fan that will accept nothing but perfection.  I’m not convinced that this offense can succeed week in and week out without Tate consistently making an impact on the game, especially with downfield threats.

– A week after Peyton Hillis had the best game of his career against the Patriots defense, that same unit held the Pittsburgh Steelers to 76 yards rushing.  What is even more impressive than the yardage itself is that Roethlisberger got 12 of those 76 yards on a late game scramble, and Mendenhall grabbed 34 of those yards on a long scamper in the first half.  So aside from those two plays, the Patriots allowed only 30 yards rushing.  Mendenhall is one of the better backs in the league, and he was held to 50 yards on 11 carries.  He didn’t play much in the second half, leading me to believe that he sustained some sort of injury.  But, the defense stepped up and rebounded after a disastrous week and notched one of their best performances of the year.

NEXT WEEK’S PREDICTION – Patriots 37 – Colts 35

Week 9 – The Mattyoshow Review

In this segment I will provide a weekly review for the previous weekend’s Patriots game, as well as my prediction for next weekend’s game.

-I want to start this post by congratulating the Cleveland Browns for winning Super Bowl XLV.  It was a majestic scene as Mangini got doused with Gatorade, the offensive coordinator was flopping around the field like a fish out of water, and the players were hugging each other, expressing their pure joy after spending an entire season working towards this one goal…Seriously Cleveland?  I know it was a big game for you.  The Patriots had the best record in the NFL, this game has probably been circled on your calendar’s since the schedule was released.  But a Gatorade bath in the first week of November?  You’re better than that Cleveland…or at least we thought you were.

-The lack of a deep threat finally reared its ugly head in Sunday’s loss in Cleveland.  I’ve been calling out this receiving corps for three weeks now, and we finally got to see how much the offense is hindered when you can’t get a receiver behind the defense.  The four longest completions of the day, 22, 22, 26, and 22 yards went to Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Danny Woodhead, and Sammy Morris respectively.  That means every pass completed over 20 yards were essentially dump off passes where the receivers ran after the catch.  Welker was blanketed for the fifth week in a row.  Without a deep threat, this offense will continue to struggle.

-BenJarvus Green-Ellis did his best Houdini impersonation today, disappearing a week after having the game of his career.  Nine carries just isn’t enough to get his guy rolling.  Granted, being down the whole game almost forced the Patriots into a no-huddle offense, where the majority of plays were passes, giving Woodhead more playing time.  But still, nine carries for BJGE isn’t enough to establish the run game, isn’t enough to force the defense into respecting the run, isn’t enough to make the play action pass effective, and isn’t enough to get victories.

-So much for the improving and impressive run defense for the Pats.  Hillis ran into, over, and around New England’s front seven early and often, leading to a career day (29 carries, 184 yards, 2 touchdowns).  Jerod Mayo again led the team in tackles, but he seemed to be one of the few Patriots even attempting to slow Hillis down.  Tully Banta-Cain, Rob Ninkovich, and Jermaine Cunningham were all terrible at attempting to set the edge.  I counted at least five or six times that Banta-Cain flew up the field and Hillis ran right underneath him.  If the Pats want to be considered among the elite teams in the league, their run defense can never have another performance like that again.

-Colt McCoy was 14-19 for 174 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions….unacceptable in my opinion.  When facing a rookie quarterback it is imperative that you not only confuse him, but force him into turnovers.  Colt McCoy was eerily accurate on Sunday, completing severely tight passes through small windows, and often on crucial downs.  I am aware that the Pats defense is essentially as young as McCoy, but Belichick’s scheme needs to be complicated enough to put his defense in places to make plays off of mistakes.  I failed to see it on Sunday, and that was very disappointing.

-NEXT WEEK’S PREDICTION – Patriots 18 – Steelers 17

Week 8 – The Mattyoshow Review

In this segment I will provide a weekly review for the previous weekend’s Patriots game, as well as my prediction for next weekend’s game.

-If you told me before Sunday’s game that the Patriots would hold Adrian Peterson to 92 yards (with one touchdown) on 25 carries, I would have considered that a solid performance by the Pats’ defense, predictably en route to a New England victory.  After watching Sunday’s game, I would call their performance against Peterson and the Vikes’ rushing attack much more than solid, it was downright impressive.  It’s not the total that I am concerned with, as 92 yards for most rushers in the NFL would be a good day.  The most important number to look at is Peterson’s longest carry on the day went for 9 yards.  Adrian Peterson has a history of punishing defenses in between the tackles, and when he eventually breaks a run outside, it goes for big yardage.  Well, not on Sunday.  Limiting Peterson’s big-play ability was the most instrumental part leading to a Patriots’ win against the Vikings.

-After being limited to 44 yards in his last two games combined, BenJarvus Green-Ellis broke out in a big way Sunday, rushing for a career high 112 yards on 17 carries, and pounding in two touchdowns (the last of which sealed a Patriots win).  Green-Ellis’ play has been limited recently with the emergence of Danny Woodhead as a viable backfield option, but with a lead in the fourth quarter the Patriots turned to Green-Ellis to control the clock and bring home the win.  BenJarvus did just that, continuosly running the ball very effectively late in the game, burning down the clock and bringing the Pats into scoring position.  I loved the attitude that BenJarvus ran with on Sunday.  Hopefully Belichick doesn’t pull his usual nonsense and Green-Ellis will see somewhere in the vicinity of 20 carries next week at Cleveland.

-For the fourth game in a row Jerod Mayo has been the Patriots best defensive player.  In my “What to look for…” segment last week, I highlighted the Mayo-Peterson matchup, explaining that the battle between those two may very well decide the outcome of the game.  On Sunday, Jerod Mayo won the battle.  He amassed 14 combined tackles (7 solo, 7 assisted), making key plays all over the field.  The most impressive of his plays came in an Adrian Peterson touchdown run.  Mayo hurdled several linemen to whack Peterson mid-air, causing his forward movement to stop completely and actually sending him about one foot backwards.  The touchdown call was upheld in a review (which I still disagree with), but that play was eerily reminiscent of Tedy Bruschi flying over offensive lineman in a goal line stance to make a huge hit.

-It seems as though I can’t go even one “Mattyoshow Review” without mentioning Devin McCourty.  This kid impresses me on a weekly basis.  McCourty ended Sunday’s game with four tackles and one interception.  McCourty has now recorded in interception in two consecutive weeks.  The interception came late in the third quarter.  The Pats were up 14-10, but the Vikes were driving down the field.  As Harvin caught the ball and was falling to the ground, McCourty ripped the ball from his hands and returned the pick 37 yards down the field (outrunning the speedy Harvin the entire way).  This play was huge in terms of momentum in the game and his own personal development.  What might have been even more impressive than that interception is that McCourty had to leave the game for one play after getting the wind knocked out of him.  That was the first and only defensive snap that McCourty has missed the entire season.  Pretty damn impressive for a rookie…

-As I am writing this post I received a wonderful text message informing me that THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS HAVE WAIVED RANDY MOSS!  This isn’t the time for me to start ranting about how the Patriots should sign him back immediately, but it is a great segue for my next point.  Ever since the Randy Moss trade was completed, I have failed to see a viable option on this team as a deep threat.  I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it, Brandon Tate isn’t really what we thought he was going to be after the departure of Moss (and yes, I did see his 65 yard touchdown catch, but the credit for that play falls solely onto Tom Brady).  Deion Branch looks slow out there.  He finds soft spots in zones and makes plays, but he isn’t burning guys deep.  Welker hasn’t been very productive since Moss left.  Hernandez has played great, but he’s not a vertical guy.  Who else do you turn to?  Brady threw for 240 yards and a touchdown.  With Moss leaving, I can say that I was ready to turn my back on the days of Brady airing it out 50 times for 400 yards, but throwing for 200 yards every week isn’t going to consistently get it done.

NEXT WEEK’S PREDICTION – Patriots 27 – Browns 13

Just a Quick Review

Reviewing what was encouraging and what questions remain after the Patriots second preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, August 19th.

Encouraging Signs…

-How can I not begin with the return of Wes Welker?  The man has just returned to action in the National Football League just seven and ½ months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL.  Extraordinary.  I was encouraged to see how Brady tried to incorporate Welker into the offense immediately.  The first play of the game was a holding penalty, but the next three plays were directed at Welker.  Granted, two catches for 20 yards doesn’t look huge in the box score, but the simple fact that he is healthy enough to even be on the feel is a great sign for the season to come.  Forget about trying to develop young kids to fill in during Welker’s absence.  We are now developing these young receivers to compliment Welker and Randy Moss.

-Big ‘ol Ron Brace finally got his oversized ass onto the field.  It only took him a little more than two weeks to pass the team’s conditioning test (pathetic, I know).  But, he saw his first day of practice a week ago today (the Monday before the Thursday preseason game), and then finally got some game action in the game Thursday night.  Brace played decently, piling up 3 tackles and one forced fumble.  But, what was most encouraging was not his actually performance, but just his presence on the field.  The Patriots are thin at the defensive end position, still trying to fill in from the losses of Richard Seymour and Jarvis Green.  Newcomer Gerard Warren will likely start on one side with Mike Wright across the way, but behind those two there is little depth.  If Brace can catch up quickly through practice then he may have a shot to contribute to this defense in 2010.

-For the second game in a row the Patriots ran the ball with a good amount of success.  In the first game against the Saints, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Laurence Maroney led the charge as the team compiled 125 yards on 35 carries, topped off by 3 rushing touchdowns.  On Thursday Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris got the bulk of the work as the team compiled 120 yards on 30 carries, topped off by 2 rushing touchdowns.  Belichick’s emphasis on the run game is something that I have been calling for since 2006 when the Pats made Maroney a first round pick.  The real question is whether or not this trend will continue into the regular season?

-Earlier this summer I predicted that rookie cornerback Devin McCourty’s biggest area of impact would be on special teams, especially in the return game.  I am certainly excited to say that I may have been wrong.  For the second week in a row, McCourty has started opposite Darius Butler and has impressed in both outings.  We knew that he was fast, but his level of physicality was something that I just wasn’t expecting.  Compile that with his exceptional closing speed and we may be looking at a rookie cornerback that will make a huge impact this season in nickel packages (assuming Darius Butler and Leigh Bodden will win that starting spots).

-Man, do I love Brandon Spikes.  This kid was born to play as a 3-4 inside linebacker.  He is tall, strong, has the ability to shed blocks, can fill holes, blitz is he has to, and can even run sideline to sideline.  Spikes and Mayo, within a season or two, could comprise the best inside linebacker tandem in the NFL, they both have that kind of talent.  I’ve repeatedly knocked Belichick for his inconsistency in terms of success with high draft picks (see Bethel Johnson, Chad Jackson, Adrian Klemm, etc.), but, so far at least, it seems like Bill got it right in 2010.

-Zoltan Mesko can kick the hell out of the ball.

Remaining Questions…

-The offensive line still scares the hell out of me.  Yes, the Patriots had pretty good success running that ball the past two weeks and the line has done a decent job of protecting the quarterbacks (although Hoyer takes some mean shots).  But, there is no way in hell that I feel good about this o-line going against the Jets, Ravens, Steelers, Chargers, Dolphins…damn just about anybody!  I’ve pretty much given up on Mankins at this point, but I really think that a move needs to be made to sure up the middle of that line.  (JUST HEARD ON WEEI WITHIN THE LAST 30 SECONDS THAT NICK KACZUR IS OUT FOR THE SEASON BECAUSE OF BACK SURGERY).

-Although the running game has put up some good numbers over the past few weeks, I would still like to see coach Belichick define roles within the running back group a bit better.  At this point there are four possible starters for the 2010 NFL season at running back, Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, or BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  I don’t know whether Maroney is going to put up 1,000 yards or is going to get cut.  I don’t know what the hell is going on anymore!  It has to be frustrating as a player to not know whether you are going to carry the ball 30 times or sit the entire game.

-I really hope that Brandon Tate lives up to the hype that has been surrounding him this training camp.  If Tate plays the way that he has supposedly been playing throughout camp then the Pats will have five or six viable options to catch passes (Moss, Welker, Edelman, Hernandez, Gronkowski, and Tate).  If Tate’s talents fail to translate onto the field then that split end receiver position opposite of Moss will be a dead zone for the third consecutive season.